2018 Award Winners

2018 Award Winners
Reading Time: 6 minutes

At Learning Resources, a lot of time is invested in understanding what children need to learn and how they might learn it. Products are then developed around that need, ensuring that products are appealing, easy to use and of a high quality. Moments are created where learning and play become one, and Learning Resources products are designed to instil a love of learning in both boys and girls, who often do not realise they are learning as they play.

Throughout 2018, multiple Judges have put our toys and games to the test! We are delighted to have received several prestigious accolades that have recognised our toys for their quality, durability, educational benefits and fun factor. Discover which toys have award winners this year below.

Botley™ The Coding Robot Activity SetBotley™ The Coding Robot Activity Set

What is Botley?

Meet Botley! The interactive robot here to teach children aged 5+ the fundamentals of coding, without the need for a screen!

Botley, from Learning Resources, is the fun, friendly way for young children to learn coding and, unlike most coding robots aimed at older kids, doesn’t require a tablet or smartphone. Ready to use straight out of the box, Botley is the only robot on the market that comes with a full activity set, allowing children to create obstacle courses for endless hours of coding fun.


Botley Awards

Judges’ Comments

Primary Teacher Awards – Gold – Score of 95.4%

“An excellent product that introduces children to the concept of coding. The younger ones were happy to program in basic commands while the older children tried the more complex sequence of coding”

“We loved Botley! The appeal was instant. Children were able to follow the written instructions and had him working straightaway. Ninety minutes later they were still engrossed. They were able to program him and create obstacles with the shapes provided and not a cross word between them! It is rare to find a toy with instant appeal that requires no input from the adult”

“This clearly supports STEM, with children using their imaginations to create what might be possible. It is a great introduction to computer programming to younger children. The colours were equally appealing to both boys and girls. I liked the detailing on him – his tyre treads being computer circuitry. The control panel was a good size for small hands”

Right Start Awards – Top Winner – Gold

“Botley makes abstract concepts concrete and gets children excited about coding. Our four-to-eight year olds enjoyed plotting mazes and (without realising it) using logic to programme Botley out of dire situations”

Good Toy Guide – Recommended

“How can Botley see the things in his way?” – Boy aged 8

“Botley introduces children to coding in a fun way – a real favourite with our testers. They loved the concept of a robot and were eager to get programming! They needed some help initially to understand the commands but once they had read or listened to the instructions, they were well on their way. The younger children engaged in simple programmes – one group enjoyed programming Botley to move from one child to another (they were sat in a circle). This teaches cause and effect and logical thinking skills which are ideal as a basis for important STEM learning”

“The children showed a high level of engagement and determination when coding the robot – they did not want to give up, demonstrating perseverance. The option to build upon simple codes and functions and two levels of difficulty provides opportunities for children to progress their knowledge and develop their understanding. We also observed some excellent teamwork and enjoyed seeing the children discuss their successes and failures, building on them in their future codes”

Playfoam® Pals™ Wild Friends 2-Pack

Playfoam® Pals™ Wild Friends 2-Pack

Meet the Pals!

Playfoam® Pals™ feature 12 collectible pods that open to reveal a unique animal character encased in Playfoam®! The super-squishy, sculpting material is child friendly, won’t dry out and doesn’t stick to clothes or carpet! Children love opening the Playfoam Pals pods to reveal their surprise collectible. Heads and bodies can be mixed and matched for endless character combinations; look out for the ultra-rare golden pal!

Playfoam makes the perfect material to sculpt props such as nests and beds for animal friends and a handy collection sheet illustrates the home countries of each animal, helping children to keep on track of what Playfoam Pals they need to complete their set!


Playfoam Pals Awards

Judges’ Comments

Good Toy Guide – Approved

“This foam is really cool, especially how it sticks together” – Girl aged 9

“The crocodile is so cute, I love it” – Girl aged 6

“The Playfoam pals are both cute and creative and definitely appealed to our testers. They were keen to see which pals they had got and there was much excitement when one of them contained a golden pal. They loved the fact the foam could be used to make things for their new pals: homes, food, beds… It provides many opportunities for creative play, which develops imagination and storytelling skills”

“The unique sculpt-able quality of the playfoam also encourages sensory play. This exploration of different tactile elements, textures, sounds and smells is not only great for developing fine motor control but can also enhance memory, problem solving and language skills. Sensory play also provides opportunities for calming and managing emotions. Due to their size, these toys are great for taking out and about as they are self-contained”

Right Start Awards – Silver

“Playfoam will keep children busy for ages: they’ll enjoy moulding it into weird and wonderful creations and the animal surprise makes it a must-have. Good value for money”

Primary Teacher Awards – Bronze – Score of 78.1%

“The children were eager to open this and were excited to see what Playfoam pals were inside.”

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog™Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog™

Say Hello to Spike!

Ideal for toddlers, this beautifully designed hedgehog-themed learning toy will develop a variety of key early learning skills. Children insert and remove Spike’s quills as they build fine motor skills – Quills feature four common colours: red, orange, green and purple.


Spike Awards

Practical Pre-School Awards – Gold – Score of 91.5%

“The spikes are well-made and they are easy to store within the hedgehog itself. We liked the fact it is so colourful and easy to use. Good for learning colours, counting and sorting. It also supported fine motor skills and memory. We discovered that it can be taken anywhere!”

Right Start Awards

“The design is cute and appealing, and the pieces are tactile for small hands. Our two-year-old enjoyed the hedgehog theme. A fun toy for small children.’

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog™Beaker Creatures™ Liquid Reactor Super Lab

What are Beaker Creatures?

Beaker Creatures are the exciting new range of science-themed collectibles that uniquely combine the thrill of collecting with real science!

After travelling through space in their Reactor Pods from their tiny distant planets, Beaker Creatures uniquely combine the thrill of collecting with hands-on science experiments, building skills and sparking curiosity!

By dissolving the Reactor Pods, children as young as five can discover, classify, and explore 35 collectible characters from five different families and they might also discover the rare 24-carat creature! Kids can then take on the role of scientist, identifying their creatures with classification cards, and exploring their worlds through fun science facts and amazing experiments.

Beaker Creatures sets double as working lab sets, complete with included science experiments that encourage hands-on learning.


Beaker Creature Award

Design and Drill® My First Workbench

Design and Drill® My First Workbench

What is it?

An innovative creative construction set that powers up the imagination of junior builders from as young as 3, as they hammer and drill directly into a play bench to create colourful designs. Great for building STEM skills.


Judges’ Comments

Practical Pre-School Awards – Gold

“This had immediate appeal for children. Excellent for developing fine motor skills, by pushing, pulling and twisting. Using the tools also helps with hand-eye co-ordination. We liked the design ideas and feel they provide good extension activities for older or more able children.”

“The drill was easy to use. Great for developing fine motor skills and plenty of scope for creativity. It also offered opportunities for mathematical skills and problem solving. Overall, a fun toy that is appealing and engaged the children immediately.”